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Can I Cross the US/Canadian Border Without a COVID Vaccination?

By Casey March 7, 2022 (Updated October 17, 2023) 4 min. read

2023 Update: The US and Canada have lifted all Covid vaccine requirements and mandates for those traveling to the US or Canada from an international country.

The best way to ensure you can cross the United States/Canada border during COVID would be to make sure you are fully vaccinated to avoid any trouble or delays. At the start of 2022, DHS stated that all non-U.S. individuals seeking to enter the United States through land ports of entry and ferry terminals at the U.S.-Canada borders must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination. However, if you are not vaccinated or getting fully vaccinated is not an option for you, there is a chance you may still be eligible to cross the border or apply for a visa, but there are limited exemptions and some additional rules you will need to follow.

Can I Still Apply for a US Visa If I Am Not Fully Vaccinated?

A universal waiver of the COVID-19 immunization may apply in specific circumstances, which means applicants in the following scenarios are not needed to show they had the COVID-19 vaccine(s):

If an applicant declines the COVID-19 immunization, the examining physician will write that the vaccine criteria are not met and that the applicant denies vaccination. Such candidates are inadmissible to the United States and hence ineligible for a green card/immigrant visa.

In view of this vaccination requirement, green card and immigrant visa applicants should plan ahead of time to complete the whole immunization series in order to minimize delays. Finally, applicants who qualify for one of the blanket waivers should have their paperwork ready ahead of time in order to speed up the procedure. It is unknown how long the COVID-19 vaccine(s) will be necessary, but for the time being, early preparedness is critical.

Can I Still Apply for a Canadian Visa If I Am Not Fully Vaccinated?

Since January 15, 2022, all travelers to Canada whether immigrating or visiting must be fully vaccinated to enter, unless exempt. Those who are exempt only include a small list of people:

Keep in mind, it is required that medical exemption requests must be supported with documentation from a specialist physician.

Foreign nationals who are not completely vaccinated may also be allowed to enter Canada if they get a national interest exemption from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, or the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. The national interest exception is only meant to be utilized in extraordinary circumstances. As such, it is not intended to be a workaround in circumstances when a more appropriate exemption cannot be obtained.

Do You Need Help Making Sure You Have the Right Documents and Proof of Vaccination Before Crossing the Border?

If so, Contact VisaPlace today. All our cases are handled by competent and experienced immigration professionals who are affiliated with VisaPlace. These professionals consist of lawyers, licensed paralegals, and consultants who work for VisaPlace Legal an award-winning immigration firm that adheres to the highest standards of client service.

Ready for the next step? Book your 1 on 1 consultation now or call us at 1-877-296-0874.

Have a Question related to your Immigration Needs?

Fill out the FREE Immigration Assessment form and get a response within 24 hours to see if you’re eligible.

The assessment form should take approximately 5-7 minutes to complete. We will get back to you within one business day to let you know if we are able to help.

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Mary Connin

Bansuri was very helpful in explaining the reason she was asking me certain questions about my upcoming appointment. She was polite, clear and persuasive – excellent qualities for someone who does her job, and really a great first impression for The visa Place. Thank you, Bansuri.

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Christopher Miller

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Michael Klaper

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Michael Klaper, M.D.

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Laurence Arpin

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Barb Petruzzi

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blake naze

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